The pro-Trump group America First Policies declared a fellow Republican, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, a member of the opposition party Saturday, and is now putting its money where it’s mouth is with a series of advertisements targeted against him.
“He’s now with Nancy Pelsoi,” the ad states. A person involved in the group told CNN that it was investing $1.3 million on television, radio, and digital advertisements against the Nevada senator.
As the midterm elections approach in 2018, Heller is up for re-election — in a state that Hillary Clinton won during the 2016 presidential election. Heller is the fifth senator to publicly oppose the Senate’s version of the health care bill as written.
“It’s simply not the answer,” the Nevada Republican said last Friday at a news conference alongside Gov. Brian Sandoval in Las Vegas. “And I’m announcing today that in this form, I simply will not support it.”
Another source involved with the group said that Heller is being given a little room to reverse course. This person says, “That’s what this weekend and today are about.”
The person told CNN that America First is “running regardless [of whether he changes course]. Just depends which ones.”
On Monday the group tweeted: “We won’t hold back. Americans need to know @SenDeanHeller is blocking the #RepealAndReplace of FAILING Obamacare!”
During the White House briefing Monday, press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the unusual move to attack a member of its own party. He said he had not seen the advertisements, but that the President has contacted Republican senators who oppose the bill.
“I would just suggest that we want to do what we can from a White House perspective to continue to reach out and work with them,” Spicer said.
America First Policies also plans to run cable and digital ads after Democratic senators in West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, North Dakota, Virginia, Missouri, Indiana, and Montana, a spokeswoman for the group said Monday.
Trump won all but one — Virginia — of the eight states where ads will run. The ad will run between June 27 and June 29.